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JBL 708P Review (Professional Monitor)

DinoA

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If you click on it to buy, the price jumps to $1889 or it did earlier this week.
Oh darn, you are correct! I just clicked on the buy button and it redirects to a page with the $1889 price.
On the other hand, weren’t they originally at $1999?
 

Ron Texas

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Whatever the price, the 708p is out of stock most places that I checked today. I can't order until September anyway. Must be the chip shortage, or is it the pandemic?
 

jumper

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.

Or would it be better to go with an outboard DAC/preamp with analog volume despite the double conversion inside the 708P?
 

Robbo99999

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.

Or would it be better to go with an outboard DAC/preamp with analog volume despite the double conversion inside the 708P?
You could probably just use the analog inputs and then use a DAC like the Topping E30 that has a remote control that can turn volume up & down (operates like a preamp).....in terms of quality I don't think you have to worry about it being converted to digital again in the speaker and then back to analog......I think it's been proven that DAC / ADC conversions can happen many times before there is a noticeable difference. (I don't know too much about using the digital inputs of the 708p and having volume control of the digital input.....I don't think digital volume control exists re the digital inputs, in terms of controlling the volume before it gets to the 708p, but I could be wrong, somebody else could give you pointers about that.....actually I'm probably getting that confused with the limitations of TOSLINK, but someone else would have to give you pointers re digital input volume control which I guess you'd want via remote.)
 
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m8o

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.
My 'belief' is the intended use case for this item [or an item such as this] is as the last component of an audio workflow before the sound hits your ears; rather than as sound reinforcement or home entertainment. Thus volume duties would be performed by the computer workstation. At least this is what I've always surmised. And not to say you can't or shouldn't use it in a non studio scenario. Just how I believe a "reference studio monitor" is expected to be used these days.
 
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stunta

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.

Or would it be better to go with an outboard DAC/preamp with analog volume despite the double conversion inside the 708P?

You can use the volume control in the playback software (Roon for instance)
 

m8o

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Another option for playback* + volume control: Silly me for forgetting about this ... and I have & use one!

https://www.pi2design.com/pi2aes.html

As you can see in this case you do not have the overkill of a WinTel or Mac computer in the picture just for playback and volume control, if you did not already have a computer in the same location as these speakers. Rather just a raspberry pi + the pi2aes HAT.

(*) running RoPieee or DietPi + RoonBridge or DietPi + your preferred Linux player or Volumio or you favorite Linux based canned turnkey OS + player.
 
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xyvyx

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.

Or would it be better to go with an outboard DAC/preamp with analog volume despite the double conversion inside the 708P?

So I had them hooked up to my RME ADI-2 Pro FS like this for awhile... I can't remember the exact limitation, but I went back to the conventional analog connections. IIRC, it worked fine as a digital volume control, but there was a problem with either the headphone output toggling or the unbalanced output I send to my subwoofer. If you want, I can try it out again & see how it behaves.... I think I left an extra XLR cable run in place for it.

On a side-topic, I ended up contacting Harman-Pro again & sending the speakers to them for repair (the local shop was unresponsive). Got them back (very quickly too!) and everything seems fine now!
 

Jim Matthews

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Pardon my naivete but I'm still at a loss for finding what a good volume control would be for the 708P given the digital inputs.

Or would it be better to go with an outboard DAC/preamp with analog volume despite the double conversion inside the 708P?
I use the MiniDSP SHD Studio for this purpose.

It replaced an RME ADI-2 dac and Hosa Toslink/AES converter.
 
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jumper

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So I had them hooked up to my RME ADI-2 Pro FS like this for awhile... I can't remember the exact limitation, but I went back to the conventional analog connections. IIRC, it worked fine as a digital volume control, but there was a problem with either the headphone output toggling or the unbalanced output I send to my subwoofer. If you want, I can try it out again & see how it behaves.... I think I left an extra XLR cable run in place for it.

On a side-topic, I ended up contacting Harman-Pro again & sending the speakers to them for repair (the local shop was unresponsive). Got them back (very quickly too!) and everything seems fine now!

Oh thanks - that would be great to know. I found the RME to one of the few with both balanced analog out AND AES3 out . Would be really nice to know how the the two compare with the 708P. I too would want to run subs so all of that working optimally would be perfect.
 

Jim Matthews

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Oh thanks - that would be great to know. I found the RME to one of the few with both balanced analog out AND AES3 out .

It is my understanding that the JBL 708p analog input is converted to Digital for processing by the on-board amps.

Unless you're feeding them a purely analog signal, it's another conversion step, with whatever errors accumulate.
 

Jim Matthews

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Did you every compare against the 708P analog input? The SHD Studio def has all the features...
I did not. The MiniDSP SHD Studio has only digital outputs.
This was my first purely digital signal chain. (I was deeply invested in simple vacuum tube gear.)

In my opinion, the sampling rates are now high enough that they surpass the performance of the best analog gear I could afford, with minimal fuss.
 

xyvyx

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Oh thanks - that would be great to know. I found the RME to one of the few with both balanced analog out AND AES3 out . Would be really nice to know how the the two compare with the 708P. I too would want to run subs so all of that working optimally would be perfect.

Well I hooked the AES back up and... it seems to be working exactly as I'd expect. I probably need to level-match it a bit w/ my subwoofer and I need to confirm if AES-channel 1 is actually left or right, but it sounds very good. So yeah, definitely a cleaner signal path this way, but I'm not sure my ears could pick up any improvements just yet ;) If I had some configuration problems before, I haven't stumbled into them yet... but I've also messed w/ settings since. I'm feeding a 96khz ADAT signal + sync from an RME soundcard in this PC into a Motu LP32 mixer, then ADAT into the ADI-2..... and now, AES out to the JBLs (using the THROUGH out from the left speaker going to the right). Photos at bottom of album link below... makes my desk look really dusty too!

Headphones work as before... hold down volume button and it flips to those outputs and mutes the speakers and sub (which is still connected via the unbalanced output). I assume the parametric EQ I configured is still being applied, but this RME lets you get really granular in some of the settings, so they may be per-output. I'll have to read up on that.

 

richard12511

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I bought @a|F 's 708s:D. I also own the 308p, and I've been comparing the 2 quite a bit over the past week or two. I'm not good at describing differences, but the 708p sounds fuller and more solid. I think that the 708p might be one of the speakers that the Olive score underrates most.
 
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